WGS in Dubai: How 3D printing human tissue in space can help life on Earth

One of the game changers has been printing cardiovascular tissues, which could lead to the creation of heart patches for individuals with heart issues

by

Waad Barakat

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Photos: Supplied
Photos: Supplied

Published: Thu 15 Feb 2024, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Thu 15 Feb 2024, 2:40 PM

Printing human tissue in space is not only crucial for distant space exploration but also for treatment of various diseases on Earth, experts say.

Speaking at the World Governments Summit (WGS) in Dubai, Mike Gold, Chief Growth Officer at Redwire Corporation, said 3D printing human tissues in microgravity solves the traditional challenges associated with organ transplantation. He noted: "You have to die in order to get organs. I have friends who are waiting for organ donations. But in space, we were able to change that.”


One of the game changers was printing cardiovascular tissues, which could lead to the creation of heart patches for individuals with heart issues or vascular diseases. The ultimate goal is to print entire organs in space.

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“The absence of gravity in space allows for the perfect construction of organs without the gravitational forces that compress and collapse them on Earth. When brought back to Earth, these organs remain intact and functional,” Gold noted.

Advantages of microgravity

He added: “One of the remarkable advantages of microgravity is the accelerated pace of tissue development. Now, as we gain knowledge, the whole process can be completed in days, eventually hours and even minutes.”

Mike Gold.
Mike Gold.

“This significant reduction in time allows for faster medical advancements and improved patient outcomes,” Gold underscored.

Improving life on Earth

It can be noted one that when UAE astronaut Sultan AlNeyadi spent six months aboard the International Space Station, he conducted numerous scientific experiments, including research into the cardiovascular system that could help develop interventions that slow vascular ageing and improve life quality on Earth.

The impact of space and biotechnology also extends beyond organ printing. It opens doors for pharmaceutical companies to establish microgravity research and development branches.

This approach not only focuses on creating new tissue but also aims to develop innovative medicines. By utilising a patient's own stem cells, the need for painful and expensive anti-rejection therapies, which can sometimes fail, can be avoided.

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